Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Taverns in County in 1939

Lawrence County News
July 6, 1939
Five Taverns in County

Five tavern licenses have been issued by Elmer Storckman, liquor control commissioner of Lawrence County, for the year starting Saturday, July 1st. This is the same number as in operation the past year.

They are as follows:

Miss Helen E Welton – Green Gables
Alex Adams – Showboat
Orville Drieman – Texaco Gardens
Duesterberg Brothers –  Maple Leaf Inn
W.A. Wooley – Airport

The annual license is $1000 and all but the first one is located near the Wabash river bridge in Allison township. Green Gables is located west of Lawrenceville. All five are on US Route 50.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

1906 Politicians

In the January 25, 1906 edition of the Sumner Press, three biographies for politicians running for election were published. 

Mayor B. F. Sumner was a candidate for Republican nomination of county judge. Mr. Sumner was the junior member of the law firm of Lewis and Sumner of the city. After his discharge from the Civil War, Sumner remained on the farm until 1883, when he moved to the city where he continued his work as pension agent and began reading law. He was admitted to the Illinois bar with the class of 1897. He served twenty years as school trustee; twelve years as justice of the peace; two terms as highway commissioner and one term as mayor of Sumner.

John A. White of Lukin Township, was a candidate for Republican nomination of sheriff.  Mr. White had been a resident of Illinois nearly all his life, having moved with his parents to Illinois from Indiana when three years old. He was brought up on the farm and knew what a farmer's life was. He was 44 years of age in 1906, just in the prime of life, a man of excellent habits, good judgment and enjoyed the respect and esteem of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Mr. White had served as supervisor from his Township. 

C.T. Cochran was also running for sheriff.  He was the son of Daniel Cochran,  a former resident of Lawrence County and  a veteran of the Civil War. The younger Cochran served as constable of Bond Township for two terms. Cochran was also a native of Lawrence County. (Ed Note: Neither of these two men were elected.  G. A. Vandament won the election.)

Mr. John Anderson of Denison Township, announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination of supervisor of Lawrence County. Mr. Anderson was then 49 years of age and had been born and raised in Lawrence County living his entire life in Lawrence and Denison Townships. His father died when Mr. Anderson was 15 years old, and the care of his mother and younger children fell upon him.  He became accustomed to hard work and responsibility all his life. He was a farmer and served one term as justice of the peace, two terms of commissioner of highways and was then serving his third term as supervisor of Denison Township.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Bridgeport Township High School Seniors 1950's

Bridgeport Township High School Seniors 1950, 1951,1952, 1954, 1955. We are missing 1953. Does anyone out there, have one, they are willing to donate?   

BTHS 1950

BTHS 1951

BTHS 1952

BTHS 1954

BTHS 1955

Saturday, October 13, 2018

1800's Loom Arrives

Thanks to the generosity of Curt and Mary Ann White, the Historical Society is now the recipient of a vintage 1800's loom.  Not very many of these looms still exist, and while it may take some research to put it together, it is a nice addition to aid in telling the story of  Lawrence County history.

We are still looking for photographs of Lawrence County girls with their dolls.  They can be of any era.  If you send them by email to, please scan them at the highest resolution you can,  because the smaller dpi will not reproduce well when we try to enlarge them.  If in doubt bring them by the History Center and we will scan them. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

School Reunions and Genealogy

In addition to our regular school files, we have several folders filled with high school reunion memorabilia. These photographs and addresses can be very helpful to genealogists.

 Isn't it time you documented your parents or grandparents' lives for the next generation? This winter would be a wonderful time to get started. Visit the Research library and ask about how the researchers there, can help you.  For a look at how technology can help you present the information so that the young people (or the older ones also) will be interested come to the October 22nd, Monday night program at the History Center. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

1932 Presidential Election

In 1932, Democrat Franklin Roosevelt defeated Republican President Herbert Hoover in the presidential election. The booklet and ticket above are in our Political archive file and the two dolls are from our Dunseth Doll Collection.
Franklin D Roosevelt
Herbert Hoover

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Unidentified Murdered Man 1962

In an earlier post, the body of an unidentified man was found in a soybean field.  Kevin B. has now provided more information. 

Lawrence County, Illinois, September 4, 1962 (a summary of the original story) 

On a gravel road near the boundary line between Christy and Petty Township, gas truck driver Kenneth Ulrey of Robinson, made a gruesome discovery, when he found the body of a man at the end of a soybean field on the Elbie Baker farm. When found, the body was clothed only in a T-shirt. The face was covered with a rag and its legs wee trussed behind its back with a belt and rope.  The victim had strawberry blond hair, was twenty-five to thirty years old, 5-9 ½ inches tall, and had small hands and feet. He would probably wear a size 7 shoe. There was speculation before the coroner's report, that the death was due to strangulation.

Dr. Boyd Black, Vincennes pathologist performed the autopsy, and confirmed strangulation as the cause of death. Black also opined that the man had been dead three or four days when found.

Vincennes, Indiana September 1, 1962

Vincennes police found a man in a stolen car asleep in Gregg Park. His name was Hiddo Berks and he was AWOL from the Navy. He and another AWOL sailor had stolen the car of Spencer Farris in Ithaca, New York two weeks earlier, and because they had crossed state lines, the FBI and U.S. Marshals were involved. His companion had departed Berks’ company in Virginia. Hiddo was taken to Indianapolis for questioning, since his fellow sailor was a suspect in one of the Boston slayings. A piece of cloth was found in the car, that was similar to the cloth used as a gag in the Lawrence Country murder. Hiddo had admitted picking up a hitchhiker, but the man made a pass at him and he got “rid of him.”The stories Hiddo gave were conflicting.

Other Leads

Lawrence County Sheriff Ryan contacted the State Police and experts from the Illinois Crime lab in Springfield to assist him in trying to identify the body. State Police Detective Fenton Fraker, one of the detectives on the Starved Rock State Park Murder case, led the state investigation. Dozens of inquiries from around the nation contacted the sheriff’s office attempting to seek a match to other missing persons cases. None were found.  A pair of trousers and a credit card were found in Red Hills State Park and turned over to the crime lab. These items were found to be linked to a hitchhiker found alive in Arkansas and were not connected to the Lawrence County case. State Highway maintenance men were instructed to watch for discarded clothing along the roadways.

There was speculation that the murder could be tied to several down-state murders or even to a crime ring in Olney. Speculation spread as to a possible connection between the Lawrence County murder and the Boston Strangler, who had strangled six young women.

Hiddo was taken by federal agents to their offices in Indianapolis where he was given a lie detector test, and asked questions about the Boston and the Lawrence County murders. Sheriff Ryan and States Attorney Roscoe Cunningham traveled to Indianapolis to observe the test. The test shed no light on any of the investigations. Hiddo admitted to the car theft but knew nothing about any of the murders. Hiddo’s companion turned himself in and was also cleared.

The body of the unknown man was laid to rest in the Lawrenceville City Cemetery with Rev. Todd conducting the service. His identity has never been learned, and no one has been convicted of his death.